By Owen Hayes
It was their word, a shibboleth for all
Craftsmen without voices. In its syllables
Their essence – their peak and trough. Listen:
The curling of a tongue starts the name,
First embers of glass in sunset hues.
The lead consonant thud in the mouth,
Hammering oak – the pedal of a loom.
For a moment, a command for death,
Hands like worn boots and lungs full of splinters.
Then ending with conceited tut, of course,
Iron dragon’s last gasp and Beowulf, dead.
I heard them wave it like a war banner,
Noble, though it would not save the tanner.
Poetry competition winner, ESRC Festival of Social Sciences 2016.
Category: Change – Opportunity or Disruption.